The Passenger Transport Executive Group has produced a new plan that aims to make smart ticketing more like London’s Oyster in city regions


pop_cardPTEG’s plan highlights some city region smart successes


The Passenger Transport Executive Group has set out a new action plan that aims to support the delivery of Oyster-style smart ticketing in the city regions.

The document sets out progress made so far in making ticketing smarter – including progress on smart concessionary ticketing, flexible carnet-style tickets and the ability to buy smart tickets in local shops. It also reveals some of the progress that has been made so far in the city regions.

These include West Yorkshire M-Card, which is now being used for more than one million public transport journeys each week, and the West Midlands where 60 million concessionary journeys a year are now made using smartcards.

However, the document also sets out the danger that ticketing may become smarter, but it could still be far too complex, with different fares being charged for the same journeys by different bus companies; high charges for tickets that can be used across operators; and insufficient integration with rail ticketing.

To help mitigate these issues, PTEG has called for new buses legislation that will give local transport authorities more powers on fares to ensure simpler outcomes, even in deregulated bus markets.

It also calls for the existing collaboration between city regions, transport operators and the Department for Transport to ensure greater levels of cooperation in cracking technical and logistical obstacles faster and at lower cost.

The plan also aims to ensure that national smart policies and initiatives on bus and rail ticketing are coordinated to achieve single outcomes in the city regions.

“It should never be the case that a public transport user needs more than one smartcard in their pocket to be sure of getting the cheapest deal – yet in some parts of the country this is already happening as bus companies promote their own tickets ahead of those that can be used on all services,” said John Henkel, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s acting director of transport, and PTEG’s lead on smart futures.

“Public transport users in the city regions want ticketing that is smart, simple and integrated and which looks and feels more like London’s Oyster. That’s what we want to give them but can only give them with a legislative framework that allows us to do so.”

Henkel said that PTEG was also keen to look beyond the use of smart technology on transport, in other words a future where the same smart product can also unlock and pay for other forms of transport such as bike and car sharing.

“This emerging market in ‘total mobility’ offers exciting opportunities not only to make travel more convenient but also to promote awareness of the more sustainable options,” he said.


Related coverage in the latest issue of Passenger Transport:

Jonathan Bray: Time to kiss smart ticketing better
What do we mean by ‘smart ticketing’? We need greater clarity about what it is, where we’ve got to and what we need to do next


This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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